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NEW YORK — Rite Aid and LifeScan kicked off the Rite Track Diabetes Tour in New York on Tuesday with a special appearance by celebrity chef Sam Talbot.
The tour, which runs through November — to mark American Diabetes Month — and December will visit more than 30 locations across the Northeast in a specially outfitted RV and offer free diabetes testing, resources and materials.
Talbot, who has Type 1 diabetes and recently published a cookbook titled "The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries," was on hand at the launch of the tour in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood to sign copies of the book and whip up some of the recipes therein. "The food connection is just doing great food that doesn't compromise flavor," Talbot told Drug Store News. "Eating great food and testing regularly — that's what's key."
LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes the OneTouch line of blood-glucose monitoring devices, was giving out gift bags that include Band Aids, Listerine and a coupon book with discounts on J&J products. "Rite Aid and LifeScan have been partners for a long time," LifeScan trade marketing project director Michelle Singer told DSN. "Rite Aid has focused on wellness and outreach to local communities, so we thought they were a good fit for the program."
The tour will make stops in Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh; Harrisburg, Pa.; Norfolk, Va.; and Buffalo, N.Y.
"I think it's amazing for patients who don't even know they're diabetic," Margherita Lafragola, VP pharmacy for Rite Aid's New York-northern New Jersey division, told DSN, adding that one visitor already had been found to be borderline diabetic. "I think it's just a great way to educate folks."